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New Minimized by Old

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Many years ago we were responsible for getting mains water into our section of Baseco. From memory we collected 250 family names and paid the connection fee for all those families, so the water authority had to bring mains water to us (as they needed a minimum number of people who wanted to connect). Once the mains were there, more individuals could now apply for filtered water and get water connected to their homes. There would now be multiple thousands who have, or had water meters installed and pipes connected to their homes.

Let’s celebrate…in some ways YES, in some ways NO. Years down the track, let’s analyze and evaluate.

There have always been areas of the slum that have flooded during the rainy season, but now there are parts that are constantly flooded all year round. Why…

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Well, indirectly, there is more water in the slum, which we were involved in.

Due to a combination of poor and sometimes lazy people, many plastic pipes are just run on top of the ground, so they get driven over and stepped on, rocks get dropped on them and they eventually begin to leak.

Sometimes somebody might dig a shallow six inch trench (if that can be called a trench), then they fill it with the normal rubble fill. Again it’s so shallow, that as the people mass and light vehicles drive over it daily, the stones are pushed into the pipes and they begin to leak.

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Here there are three types of pipe available, a high quality, uv rated, thick, blue poly pipe, then a thinner version of the first, then there is poor quality, ultra thin black pipe, that you can nearly squash with your fingers…which one is the cheapest, which one is used the most – you guessed it, which one leaks the most the soonest – yep, you are right again.

Water coming into the slum has been great for many, but no where near as good as it could be for the community as whole.

Before Ps Marivic had piped water, she was spending nearly 1,000p a month on water, which had to be carted daily, this dropped to less than 300p once she had metered water and now the water was accessible in her house. Her children are clean, bathing is not an issue, washing clothes is easier, drinking and cooking water is readily available. She loves it, it makes such a difference to her life.

For sure, initially, this was the same experience for anyone who got metered water. But things need to be maintained, maintenance takes time, effort, money and desire. Maintenance is lessened greatly by better preparation in the first place. Maintenence is also a mindset, now we have it, would should maintain it.

Something really good, has now become something that adds to flooding issues, mosquito breeding and disease. The water itself is not to blame, but the way it has been appropriated by local people, is the cause of the issue.

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Lesson to LEARN – you really can’t put new ideas, no matter how good they are, onto old mindsets.

Not sure you can build on the old mindset, but to remove or renew it takes much more than education, it requires genuine “salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit”.

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